Having won the Irish Intermediate and Under-22 titles, Sheehy would finish runner-up in the Irish Senior Elites to Dublin’s Kirill Afanasev.
The St Francis’s fighter was outmuscled somewhat that night and lost his head slightly but admits that he feels far better going into the 2019 edition.
While Afanasev impressed internationally last year, and is ranked as the top heavyweight in Britain and Ireland, the division is still seen as being wide open.
Alongside last year’s finalists there is also Kenny Okungbowa, Tony Browne, Dee Sullivan, Karol Długosz, Geoffrey Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien, and more.
Sheehy knows that he is still young and will be an underdog next month but he will enter full of confidence after retaining his Under-22 title on Friday night.
Following his win over Cavan’s Thomas Maughan, the Munster youngster told Irish-Boxing.com that “I’m looking at the Elites now but, look, I’m still only 20.”
“I’m only getting stronger though, my strength and conditioning is always getting better, I feel stronger, fitter, and faster this year.”
“Confidence-wise, last year I felt at about 60% but now I’m moving forward, I’m a lot more confident in myself, I’m more confident in my ability and my physical strength, it’s working.”
Sheehy was delighted to pick up another title and described how “I just love boxing, I just love doing it. I love challenging myself in these championships.”
“He was a good lad, definitely a good lad, very awkward. He was hard to hit and I had to change my gameplan as it went on and it worked, thanks be to God.”
On top of the Elites, Sheehy is keen to return to the European Under-22 Championships having been beaten by eventual bronze medallist Lucian Kuehne of Germany last year.
However, this would involve a return to Russia, with the tournament being slated for the city of Vladikavkaz in March.
Sheehy has been out East before, boxing at the World Youth Championships in 2016 in St Petersburg where a dislike for Russian cuisine saw his weight tumble and lead to a move from super heavy down to heavyweight.
He joked how “we’ll see what happens, hopefully I get picked – I could go down to 81kgs!”
Photo Credit – Willie McNamara